EurActiv - Letters to the Editor

Sir,

Regarding ‘European businesses crippled by late payments‘:

Your article explains how late payment failures are substantially hurting SMEs, with the risk far more prevalent in South and East European Countries. As CEO of Solid Quality Mentors, a Spanish innovative small and medium-sized enterprise (SME), I welcome any measure which helps us reduce red tape and receive payments more quickly.

In today’s climate it is not enough to be a profitable company. Cash-flow issues caused by payment delays can destroy a profitable company, along with the employment that the company created with so much effort.

While public financing schemes are extremely helpful in providing us with the necessary boost to pursue ambitious projects, having timely and available access to those funds is as crucial as the money itself.

My experience in Spain is that applying for R&D grants is a lengthy and cumbersome process, even after the money has been granted. The conditions of some grants require that we start advancing significant capital well before we even know when the financial help is going to materialise.

It is also our experience that while it is prestigious to land public contracts, governments require longer payment deadlines and are slower than private companies in paying their dues. This is adversely affecting SMEs in the current financial crunch as it directly impacts on our cash-flow.

Any initiative which accelerates payments to European SMEs will have a positive impact on the economy as we will be able to increase investment in innovation, create jobs and boost growth.

Fernando G. Guerrero

Solid Quality Mentors

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